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Old Nov 11, 2005, 3:24 AM   #1
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I've been taking photos for years. It's amazing to see the quality of shots taken from just aMinolta Advantix FILM camera (allpoint and shoot,no settings). With it, shootingwas simple. I just pointed the camera and got the shot. No worrying about white balance, focus, ISO settings, or whatever. The hardest part was waiting to go pick up the prints.

In June 2005I purchased my firstdigital camera, and began to get more serious aboutdigital photography. It's nicenot having to purchase film and go to the photo mart for developing. Matter of fact, in the last few months I have used 4 different DIGITAL cameras, all Kodak 4 & 5 MP, and shot over3000 new photos.

However, just last nite I was looking at my old "print" photo collection (taken with the Minolta film camera), and couldnt help but wonder "what if" I had taken those shots with a digital instead. Would they haveturned out as good?

So let me ask this one burning QUESTION to all you pros:

Is digital ever as good as film?
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 6:32 AM   #2
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When it comes to dynamic range, film wins hands down. But all else goes to digital.

Small sensors (those in most p&s cameras) are not as good, overall, as those in dSLR's. The larger sensor area really DOES matter.

In the higher end dSLR's, many believe that the cameras approach medium format in quality, and I agree. I have a 14MP Kodak SLR/n, and the image quality easily matches 6x6 and 645 in quality.

Declan
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 8:47 AM   #3
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Digital certainly wins for 'speed' which is why newspapers are now almost completely digital...it makes hitting the deadlines easier but, you need to remember that newspapers print their images on newsprint at a laughably low resolution.

Magazines, on the other hand, are not as tied to minute by minute deadlines and they can print higher quality images on higher quality paper so you still see the majority of magazine shots are still done on film.

For the most part, people have forgotten what a real print from film looks like. All they see are digital prints from digital files (originals from digital cameras or scans of film prints) which just don't stand up to a side by side comparison. It is as if all you ever were given to eat was McDonald's hamburgers you would begin to think that they were pretty good...state of the art...but then, one day, somebody gives you a beautifully grilled steak...and you start to look at McDonald's hamburgers with a different perspective. Sure 'fast food' has the advantage of being 'faster' but you do give something up for that privilege.

It is the same with photography. Digital is everywhere 'Billions and Billions served' and it is fast but it starts to pale in comparison to what you can get from film.

Personally, I use both. The idea is to get the image...to get the job done and I like having the option of choosing whatever tool I want...film or digital.
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 11:33 AM   #4
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Not sure if this fits with the argument but:



If i was to buy a Film camera with: 70mm-300mm lens, and then baught a Digital camera and stook the samelens on the digital (asuming it was compatable) would thedigital reach a larger zoomthan the Film due to the.. Multiplyer.. thingylol



Thanks again!
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 11:47 AM   #5
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offspringy wrote:
Quote:
Not sure if this fits with the argument but:



If i was to buy a Film camera with: 70mm-300mm lens, and then baught a Digital camera and stook the samelens on the digital (asuming it was compatable) would thedigital reach a larger zoomthan the Film due to the.. Multiplyer.. thingylol



Thanks again!
It would APPEAR to. But in reality, if you crop the image from the film camera it should match the 'zoomed in' image from the digital camera. The optics haven't changed - just the medium that the image is displayed on.
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 4:00 PM   #6
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Meryl Arbing wrote:
Quote:
It is as if all you ever were given to eat was McDonald's hamburgers you would begin to think that they were pretty good...state of the art...but then, one day, somebody gives you a beautifully grilled steak...and you start to look at McDonald's hamburgers with a different perspective. Sure 'fast food' has the advantage of being 'faster' but you do give something up for that privilege.
nice analogy.

Looks like digital on the left, film on the right

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Old Nov 11, 2005, 6:00 PM   #7
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I think this discussion:
http://www.stevesforums.com/forums/v...=37&page=1
can answer your question better and with more truth than any
of the replies so far. Make sure to read all of it, it's a long thread
and it takes a while to get to the heart of the matter.


-Ted
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 6:34 PM   #8
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My thing is that digital helped me a lot in improving my photograpghy. I bought a film SLR about 7-8 yrs. ago But by the time I would get my prints (4x6, 5x7) size, I couln't correlate to the settings that I had used. I was lazy to write down what f-stop ss I had used and the books that I read that time didn't help much with simple concepts. So basically the camera collected dust.

Then I bought a p&s with big zoom from panasonic (FZ1) which got me hooked to it. I could takea zillion shots and read EXIF info and do side by side comparisons on my monitor.

Then I moved to 10D and so far very happy with digital. I don't know what people mean that digiatl quality is not up to far with film, but for regular sized magazines, the current crop of digital dSLRs print beautiful pictures. Almost all birders that I know on other forums are using digital with their 500/600mm lens.

Technology keeps improving. and you got to adapt with that. It is just like cars. Old timers will say no traction control, no VDC for me, but that doesn't mean modern cars aren't fun to drive.
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 6:50 PM   #9
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More people are taking pictures as a result of digital technology.

In the old days, ordering film, processing, waiting for the film to return, being at the mercy of printers, cost, delays, etc. took some of the fun out of photography.

Now, you can grab your cam, shoot 200 shots, download them on your computer, edit, adjust, crop and print with very little hassle.

This is way, way better than it used to be.

As for quality, I have a Canon 20D and my shots are looking way better than my film days.

-- Terry
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Old Nov 11, 2005, 8:44 PM   #10
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I don't have time for a long post but I want to throw this out to make sure people don't forget it.

When you compare prints, how was the film and digital prints made?
The absolute best DSLRs compare very well to 35mm. In some ways obviously better, in a few ways film is better. I refute many of the arguments made in the referenced post. Some are issues for how you shoot, others are as bad as he states, others are dead on correct.

But if you're really serious - medium format beats every (some argue all but one or two) digital. And large format beats them all. Note this is only a measure of print quality, not the process of taking the image.

And don't forget the quality of the film. Cheap film that you purchase down at the drug store is quite different than professional grade film like Provia 100F or Velvia 100F. I could be that good modern DSLRs are better than the cheaper films. Especially if you get them developed cheaply. Profession films are very good and even better when "professionally developed. They better & worse than the best DSLRs.

And we haven't even touch on how the digital image was edited and printed. Bad editing will obviously make an inferior image. A bad printer will ruin it too. Good prints are not cheap (but they don't have to be expensive.)

It is very, very hard to do a fair comparson of film and digitial.

Eric
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